Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala under General Efraain Raios Montt, 1982-1983

By Virginia Garrard-Burnett | Go to book overview

3
Ríos Montt and the New
Guatemala

“Himno Nacional de Guatemala” (“Guatemala Feliz”) (Fragment)

… Es tu enseña pedazo de cielo
en que prende una nube su
albura,
y ¡ay de aquel que con ciega
locura,
sus colores pretenda manchar!
Pues tus hijos valientes y
altivos,
que veneran la paz cual presea,
nunca esquivan la ruda pelea
si defienden su tierra y su hogar.
CHORUS:
Libre al viento tu hermosa
bandera
a vencer o a morir llamará;
que tu pueblo con ánima fiera
antes muerto que esclavo sera….
Nunca esquivan la ruda pelea
si defienden su tierra y su hogar,
que es tan solo el honor su alma
idea
y el altar de la Patria su altar…

—José Joaquín Palma wrote and Rafael Álvarez Ovalle
composed Guatemala’s national anthem for a government-sponsored
contest in 1896. In 1934, General Jorge Ubico ordered José María
Bonilla to rewrite some of the words, which are as they appear here.

On March 23, 1982, a coup led by young military officers deposed Romeo Lucas García during the last days of his presidency, announced the nullification of the rigged presidential elections that had named General Angel Anibal Guevara to office, and put a military junta at the head of government.1Golpes and palace coups were nothing new in Guatemala—no fewer than nine heads of state had been forced to leave office without serving out a full term since 1954, the beginning

-53-

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Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala under General Efraain Raios Montt, 1982-1983
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface- Some Notes on - Appropriateness in the Writing of History vii
  • Contents xvii
  • 1 - Ríos Montt Earns His Place in the History Books 3
  • 2 - Guatemala’s Descent into Violence 23
  • 3 - Ríos Montt and the New Guatemala 53
  • 4 - Terror 85
  • 5 - "Los Que Matan En El Nombre de Dios" 113
  • 6 - Blind Eyes and Willful Ignorance 145
  • Epilogue 167
  • Notes 179
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 255
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